Chronic Low Back Pain and Research

yay-6933066neck painful manChronic Low Back Pain Relief

Chronic low back pain can find relief from massage. This has more and more support from research. But you probably knew the benefits of massage already, right? It is growing in popularity for treatment of a number of conditions, and research backs up what people are finding on their own. In a comparison with self-care education, acupuncture and massage, the massage group “used the least medications…and had the lowest costs of subsequent care.” (Journal of American Medical Association).

Research on stand-alone massage sessions (not combined with other treatments) showed “robust” support of massage. These benefits are for chronic non-malignant low back pain. Massage scored higher than chiropractic, acupuncture, exercise, patient education and progressive relaxation. Various types of massage were assessed, with the aim to determine pain relief for various parts of the body. The research covered low back pain, tension headaches, migraine headaches, shoulder pain, and fibromyalgia. The best, most cost-effective results involved massage in 6-10 sessions, once a week for chronic low back pain. (Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine).

Other Treatments, Other Benefits

Mild to moderate benefits were also shown for massage to treat fibromyalgia, headaches, shoulder or neck pain. It must be noted that other treatments were equal to or superior to massage for other areas of the body. However, some studies show that massage combined with other treatments can help even more. For example, one German study of acupressure and pressure point massage showed more benefits than Swedish massage for low back pain. In most of these studies, the massage group used less pain medications compared to other treatments.

Ortho-Bionomy treatment of low back painOrtho-Bionomy®

Ortho-Bionomy® is not as well known, and has not been researched in comparison with other treatments. It uses tender point palpation and the client’s awareness to determine how to position the body for release. There has been some research on the subtle rhythms of CranioSacral, although some of the research is controversial. There has been some research on honoring the body’s inherent self corrective reflexes in Strain-Copunterstrain, aka Positional Release.These along with Ortho-Bionomy® derive from Osteopathic Manual Medicine.

Isometric and Isotonic exercise, and Myofascial Release have also been researched and can be part of an Ortho-Bionomy® session. Integration Massage provides Ortho-Bionomy® as a first choice, sometimes in combination with subtle movements so your body can self correct, gentle myofascial release, exercises and stretching for treatment of chronic low back pain.

My patients have found Ortho-Bionomy® helpful for stress, fatigue, low back pain, shoulder, knee, wrist and ankle injuries, and whiplash injuries. They have found it useful for “frozen” shoulder and complications of shoulder and knee surgery. All of these can also contribute to low back pain.


From an old ankle injury: stabilizing muscles of the lower leg can tighten to affect muscles of the upper leg and low back.

One of my research specialties is relief of ligament injuries, especially chronic ankle sprains. And when the ankle is unstable, there can be muscles that tighten to compensate. They may cause pain up the leg and into the back. When that happens, low back pain can be relieved by massage, Ortho-Bionomy and exercises to correct ankle instability.

I continue to study what works best, and follow the research. For low back pain, especially with old ankle injuries, give Rosi, the Research Geek a call! 503-708-2911.

I’ve got your back.

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2 Replies to “Chronic Low Back Pain and Research”

  1. Pam Buseck

    Hey I just heard about CHIROPRACTIQUE urban retreat at 2301 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92104 there number is (619) 269-9909 I wanted to know, have any of you men completed any business with them before because my back continues to be killing me and I wanted an honest opinion.

  2. Integration Massage Post author

    Hi, Pam,
    Thank you for your comment. My massage practice is in Portland, Oregon, and I am not familiar with treatment options in San Diego. There is an Ortho-Bionomy® instructor, Jim Berns, who teaches in San Diego, and he could give you some referrals to practitioners who might meet your needs. You can reach him at:


    Hoping your back starts adding good energy to your life soon!